Joomla™ is a free content management system used to create websites. Joomla™ allows web designers to construct sites by combining modules, and requires no knowledge of programming to use. Joomla™'s framework is written in PHP, as are the modules used to customize websites. There is a wide variety of modules available, including RSS feeds, polls, and language internationalization, which make it easy for Joomla™ users to publish content to the web, even with minimal web design experience. Joomla™ can also be used to publish information on intranets, making it a useful organizational tool.
Because Joomla™'s code is open source, anyone is able to write modules and extensions of the system, making it extremely adaptable. These modules are available for download, typically through their creators' websites. Many web designers also create Joomla™ design elements, called 'themes', which they then make available for download. Not all Joomla™ themes are free, however, and many web designers will make custom themes for a price.
Joomla™ is often compared to Drupal, another open source content management system. Joomla™ is often described as easier to use, initially, but Drupal seems to be more adaptable if a user is able to handle the technical issues. One of Joomla™key features is its graphical interface, which has less of a learning curve than Drupals menu system.
The name 'Joomla' is a transliteration of a Swahili word meaning 'all together' or 'as a whole.' It was selected as part of a re-branding process for software originally developed as part of the Mambo content management system. Mambo was the center of controversy questioning what constituted open source software, and members of the foundation charged with funding the project were accused of planning a capitalization venture. Mambo's development team, in turn, left the project and released the first version of Joomla™ — essentially Mambo version 188.8.131.52 — in 2005.